This week’s Lucy Loves…

Hello, Hello! Happy Friday!

Is anyone else excited for the weekend? I am, and I’m not. We’re in the process of moving house and this weekend, it’s all about packing up. I’m feeling super emotional about it all. It’s our first family home. The home where we brought Lacie home too when she was just a day old. The home where we have lived for 8 years. It’s really pulling on my heart strings! But onwards and upwards I guess!  Anyway, moving forward lets look at the things I’ve discovered and LOVED this week. Enjoy!  

Mothercare’s new spring range
I’m a sucker when it comes to buying new clothes for Lacie. I just can’t help myself. I love this pretty ra-ta skirt. Such beautiful colours and it looks super cute with her white boots and a plain white Tee. Check out the new range here. Hide your purse though. It’s lethal!
http://www.mothercare.com/

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.39.00

The ideal home show
Me, Lacie & mark went on the opening day and had great fun getting new ideas for our new home. See I’m excited really! The exhibition is on until April 6th, and is well worth a visit.
http://www.idealhomeshow.co.uk/

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.48.47

The Garden
Lacie has discovered the back door – and that there’s a whole new world outside the house. She loves her little swing, chasing ants with her finger and sitting on the wall chatting away with me. At the moment, she’s into perching on everything. It’s so cute!
Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.37.48

Very British Baby
The design of these smellies are lovely, and the products themselves are great too. They retail from around £2.50 and the quality is just fab. The are Very British Baby formulations are all dermatologically tested with a no tears and made from a paraben-free formula, which ticks all the boxes as far as I’m concerned. Try the Bedtime Bath, which is great for bubbles but also for winding Lacie down for a good nights kip (hopefully!)
http://www.verybritishbaby.com/

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 10.50.44

Raw Chocolate Pie
As you know – I like to eat healthily. I like my treats too, so I was well happy when I discovered Raw Chocolate Pie chocolate. It’s all dairy free, gluten free, sugar free and guilt free. Basically it’s made with raw cacao, agave nectar, coconut butter, lucuma, carob flour and nuts. That’s it! It’s the perfect treat for when I NEED chocolate. It’s certainly a goodbye to Dairy Milk from me. This stuff is rich and tasty and so chocolately, that one little bar (sometimes half, SOMETIMES!) is more than enough to satisfy a graving. It’s pure gold. I will be buying more that is for sure!
https://www.rawchocpie.co.uk

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.08.26

 

How my diet has changed since being a mum 

Since being a mum, life feels like it’s going 1000 miles an hour. When Lacie was first born, my diet was so important. My milk needed to be as high quality as possible, so I was very strict about eating plenty of good protein, good fats and vegetables. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still strict about eating these good foods but my Sunday night food prep sessions are all about making Lacie the best food possible for the week ahead. Think sweet potato muffins, chicken and avocado wraps, banana, avocado, spinach and chia seed porridge and quinoa concoctions. It’s all about getting the right nutrients into Lacie so she’s happy, healthy and benefiting from stable blood sugar levels. 

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk - but boy, she likes it!

Sweet potato, strawberries and spinach with coconut. Sounds yuk – but boy, she likes it!

So how about me? I’m all for convenience. Protein bars or shakes tend to be my staple breakfast right now (which still ends up being 10:30ish no matter how organised I am!!) pre-cooked and marinated chicken with ready prepared salad bowls for lunch and some CO YO and Paleo Granola or chopped fruit for my afternoon pick me up. I always cook a dinner though, which I eat with Lacie. That tends to be some sort of protein dish with vegetables and salad. Last night for example was salmon with pesto and roasted vegetables. She’ll sit in the kitchen with me whilst I prepare it and we chat and sing. It’s one of my favourite times of day! It doesn’t take long to prepare but I let her try things like pepper sticks and cucumber slices as I chop. 

I do love the kitchen, and I do miss the kitchen. I have so many recipes (check this sugar-free banana bread out!!) stored on my phone that i would love to bake – but these will have to wait until I have a few hours to play around in the kitchen, which doesn’t happen that often. Right now, it’s all about building good habits for Lacie and giving her a taste of all the good foods out there whilst she doesn’t know any different. I’m hoping she’ll get a taste for these foods and they will be her go to foods for the rest of her life. We’ll see. I’m fully aware that there will be parties to go too, and day trips out with Nannies and Nannas!  

FullSizeRender 2

As for me. I’ll carry on eating my meals with either one hand or really quickly (I’m always in demand!) It’s not forever and as long as I have the right fuel inside me to keep doing a good job as a mother then that’s a that matters. It makes me really appreciate food when I do go out for a nice meal or manage to cook something special. 

What do other mums do when it comes to eating around their little ones? I would love to know! I’m off to go and enjoy a chilli with some cauliflower rice. 

10 REASONS YOU’RE NOT LOSING BELLY FAT

Last week  I was asked to help out with a feature for one of my favourite websites ‘Get The Gloss.‘ It’s a must read for everything health, wellness and women related!

The feature I helped with was called “10 REASONS YOU’RE NOT LOSING BELLY FAT,” something that many women can relate too. Here it is! Enjoy…..

Working hard but stomach still not resembling a washboard? It’s time to bring in the experts…

Never mind ‘does my bum look big in this?’, stubborn fat around the tummy is probably the most common bodily bugbear, for both men and women. Shifting it becomes even more of a priority when you consider that, according to NHS Choices, fat collecting around your middle poses more health risks than fat that sits elsewhere:

“We store spare body fat under the skin and also around the vital organs in our abdomen. Fat around the abdomen causes more health problems than, say, fat carried around the bottom or on the thighs. Having a large amount of tummy fat (when compared to having fat around the bottom or thighs) makes you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes and heart problems.”

Hardly joyful news if you have a few pounds to lose, but don’t panic if you’re developing a paunch- the following could explain why you’re accumulating belly fat, and tips from nutritionist and yoga teacher Libby Limon and fitness specialist Lucy Miller could help you to whittle down your waist once and for all.

STRESS
Number one rule for conquering abdominal fat? Don’t stress (in fact, make that a rule for life). Libby explains why anxiety can thwart your weight loss efforts:

Number one rule for conquering abdominal fat? Don’t stress (in fact, make that a rule for life). Libby explains why anxiety can thwart your weight loss efforts:

“Cortisol, the stress hormone, plays a part in laying down central adipose tissue (belly fat), so if you are in a stressed state then it will be very hard to shift. Stress can come from many sources- emotional strain, conflict at work or relationship trouble. Destress by building in yoga practice and mindfulness to your daily routine.”

If you suspect that stress is sabotaging your slimming goals, learn how to master meditation, swot up on calming yoga poses and halt negative thought patterns in their tracks.

SUGAR
It’s currently public enemy number one, and the link between muffin tops and actual muffins is, unfortunately, stronger than ever. Libby lays down the law:

“Cortisol is also implemented, alongside insulin, in blood sugar control, so a high sugar diet can cause belly fat to stick fast even if you’re restricting calories and trying to lose weight (excessive calorie restriction isn’t something I would recommend anyway.”

Personal trainer and obesity campaigner Lucy has some advice for addressing the issue, without going hungry:

“Try to cut down on sugar, saturated fats and white refined foods such as white bread, pasta, rice and potatoes, as they metabolise quickly, resulting in soaring blood sugar levels, which promotes fat storage. Base your diet around lean meats, vegetables and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in nuts and avocados.”

SLEEP DEPRIVATION
It’s the c-word again- Libby underlines that ‘a lack of sleep can have a negative effect on cortisol balance’. If you’re struggling to get some shut eye, get to the root of what’s causing your insomnia and learn how to help yourself nod off using expert wellbeing techniques. If you’re in the following situation, however, you’ll be in no doubt as to what’s causing your sleeplessness…

YOU’RE A NEW MOTHER
First things first, never put pressure on yourself to spring back into shape, and definitely don’t rush things (that goes for weight loss full stop). Your belly has just housed new life and brought a wonder into the world; cut it, and more importantly, yourself, some slack. Up your activity levels slowly- Lucy advocates patience and TLC:

“If you’re a new mum then losing weight from around the tummy can be very hard- hormones take time to settle down and stretched muscles won’t knit back together instantly after pregnancy. it will take time, so give yourself as long as it takes.”

If you’re not feeling like you’re losing anything, try tracking your progress as you go and join a community of other mothers by using the Healthy Selfie app. It’s a great visual tool to reassure you that you are indeed making headway, and the photographic food diaries help you to monitor what you’re eating without exposing your entire Instagram feed to your daily meals. Co-founder Charlotte is even using the app to track the changes she’s experiencing throughout her pregnancy- we’ll report back on her post-baby plan!

Post-baby or not, overdoing it is never good…

OVER EXERCISING
There’s no doubt that slobbing out won’t do anything to diminish belly fat, but going overboard isn’t the answer either, as Libby affirms:

“Physical stresses such as overexercising and endurance exercise can upset cortisol balance. Switch gruelling cardio workouts for 20-30 minute HIIT sessions instead.”

HIIT the ground running (sorry) with these get fit fast workouts.

BELLY BLOATING
If a protruding tum comes with cramps, wind and bowel trouble, an unhappy digestive system is likely to blame and could be making a less than trim tum situation look and feel a lot worse than it is. Your first step is to beating bloat is to identify the cause of your tummy trouble, and Lucy suggests trying a meal tweak to see if it makes a difference:

“Avoid eating fruit after a meal, as fruit can cause food to ferment in your stomach, leading to bloating and lots of gas.”

CORE CONFUSION
The classic sit up has been sold to us as the best ab honer, but incorrect alignment can make them less effective, not to mention damage your back. A sit up alone also won’t burn fat that sits on the stomach. Get sweaty with a cardio blast and then mix up your core toning exercises by following Lucy’s drill:

“Do minute-long planks, three sets of 20 bicycle crunch exercises, two sets of 30 heel digs, three sets of 20 bird dogs and the mighty Turkish get up. These are all great exercises for working your deep core muscles, ab muscles and postural muscles, which will instantly make you look taller and slimmer.”

DUMBBELL DREAD
Traditionally many women skirt round the weightlifting section in the gym, and while body weight resistance training is highly effective, pumping a little iron pays dividends. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you’ll burn, even when resting. which is good news for torching tummy fat. if you’re still hesitant, let performance coach and founder of Twenty Two Training Dalton Wong convince you.

FAT FEAR
It seems logical to assume that fat contributes to fat, but nutritionists are keen to point out that since the “low fat” revolution of the 70s, our waistlines have widened dramatically. As personal trainer and nutritionist Keris Marden and fitness expert and health coach Matt Whitmore point out in The Paleo Primer: A Jump-Start Guide to Losing Body Fat and Living Primally:

“Have you ever wondered what takes the place of the removed fat? Answer: heaps of synthetic, non-food chemicals that wreak havoc on our metabolism and digestion. What’s more, most low-fat and fat-free products contain loads of sugar or artificial sweeteners to make up for the lack of taste.”

For a flatter tummy and lower body weight in general, healthy fats such as coconut oil and avocados could well be your weight loss weapon, as Keris and Matt highlight:

“Fat can play a vital role in weight loss[…] the single most important aim of your nutrition should be to balance your blood sugar levels. Dietary fat helps you accomplish that by slowing down the release of nutrients into the bloodstream, so by all means, add a little olive oil or butter to your meals. This will help regulate your appetite and keep your energy levels consistent.”

Fewer sugar spikes, reduced cake cravings and a drip feed of health-giving nutrients into the body will seriously reduce the incidence of belly swelling binges.

SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS…
If you’re diet and fitness regimes are shipshape, but you’re still not losing any weight, it may be a good idea to seek medical advice. Hormonal disruption can affect fat distribution, so consulting a hormone expert such as Dr Marion Gluck and her team could help, but book an appointment with your GP first for a general health check.

Fisher Price Space Saver Jumperoo

Every parent I know raves about it. It keeps their child occupied for hours, it gives their child time on their feet, allowing them to be really active without getting into trouble and the lights and sounds keep them entertained and engrossed as they find new colours, hear new sounds and find things to spin and move back and forth.

Lacie has been a huge fan of the Fisher Price Jumperoo for months – me too, but I do hate how much room it takes up and that I have to keep it out as I can’t be bothered to take it apart and put it in the cupboard every time she doesn’t want to use it.

fisher price

Lucky for me, I got my hands on the new Space Saver Jumperoo, and despite the fact that it’s much smaller and folds away, she still loves it just as much and it still keeps her entertained and happy while I make the dinner. Yes, she is walking now, but she loves hanging onto my legs when I’m cooking dinner, which I find so dangerous – and a tad annoying! It holds children up to 25lbs, she is just hit 19, which means we still have some growing room despite the fact that she is 12 months.

The first advantage of the new model is that it just snaps together.  No tools required – everything just clips together making the install quite easy. The second advantage is that it folds away. Just remove the toy bar (which can then be stored safely under the seat), drop the seat down and move the back bar forward, and voila.

fisher price

fp2

So what happens when you want to use it again? Well, it’s simple. You just lift the seat up, the pull the front out, then clip the toy bar back on. Nifty!

fp

Day 21 of my 21 day fat loss challenge

Ahhh – sorry for the silence. I’ve been manic writing various features, being a mum etc that I haven’t had time to blog about the rest of my challenge. I’ve had a great 21 days though and the last week I’ve been doing a 7-day protein challenge with Upbeat protein drinks, which are high in protein but low in fat, with half the sugar of most fruit smoothies. They have been my saving grace come the afternoon and my favourite has to be the strawberry flavour. The last few days I’ve popped it in the blender with some chia seeds and some CO YO just to thicken it up a bit. I’ve been hungry so this stopped any cravings straight away and it tasted like a thick and fluffy strawberry milkshake. Yum!

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.38.12

So what have I been eating on my challenge?

Breakfast has either been CO YO or natural yogurt with berries, seeds and a handful of toasted flaked almonds or scrambled eggs with chorizo, spinach and 1/2 avocado.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 12.40.19 For lunch I made a quinoa and lentil & feta salad, which I managed to have over a few days and tend to stick to salads at lunch with either chicken , halluomi or salmon. My afternoon snack has been a yummy Upbeat drink and if I’m extra hungry I have this with some fruit, a handful of nuts or make it into a really thick smoothie and then dinner I try to stick with protein and veg with no carbs and have been having things like salmon with papaya salsa, turkey meatballs with roasted vegetables or last night I made I pork stronganoff with creme-fresh and lots of onions and mushrooms.

So why do I make sure I have protein with every meal? There’s so many reasons!

1. Protein is found in every one of the trillion cells in our bodies – making up around 15% of the human body.
2. It helps you feel fuller for longer
3. It slows down any sugar release into the body and lowers the GI value of a meal
4. It plays a key role in our immune system
5. And most importantly it’s great for weight loss. There are so many studies saying that protein is the key to losing body fat whilst maintaining muscle mass!

If you want to do your own challenge then here are a few tips to get you started;
* don’t skip meals
* prepare your meals either the night before or first thing every morning
* go shopping!
* drink lots of water
* avoid soft drinks
* Ignore your cravings for the first week and find alternatives to give you a sweet fix like Upbeat drinks, fruit, a handful of nuts and homemade smoothies using coconut yogurt or natural yogurt
* don’t expect to be perfect. If you fall off track don’t think you’ve blown it, then make it 10 times worse than eating everything in sight. Except it, move on and use the next meal to get back on track.

Screen Shot 2015-02-24 at 13.17.08

Baby Perfume – L’Odeur

It’s never to early to be girlie. That’s my opinion anyway. Lacie is a real girlie girl. I love dressing her in lovely dresses and cardigans (I just love the Baby K Range in Mothercare) and she always wears a matching hairband. How people still ask if she’s a boy is beyond me?

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 14.32.33

My husband laughed when I said I got her some perfume, but you can’t beat that fresh baby smell right? Which is exactly what L’Odeur smells like. It’s lovely. It’s very light and designed to compliment and enhance that new baby smell. It’s also Alcohol free, and dermatologically tested so it’s gentle on Lacie’s skin – although I only tend to spray it on her clothes the morning before she puts them on. I have yet to spray it directly on to her.

Screen Shot 2015-02-13 at 14.29.59

I love it when someone has that signature smell – and she definitely has one now. Her clothes smell gorgeous – a combination of verbena, orange blossom, and muse. That’s my girl!

Day 12 of my 21 day fix

After a busy day yesterday doing a BarreCore Class with the lovely Olivia from Livia’s Crumbles, I ache like mad. I still got up through, despite about 3 hours sleep (Lacie is teething) and did an hour’s workout at 6:30. I was going to post a picture of me in the gym, but I think I would of scared you with my smudged mascara and unbrushed hair. That’s the beauty of having your own gym I suppose! I really didn’t want to get up this morning!

I bite the Bullet and did a back and abs session with a 20 minute Kettlebell met-con circuit to finish off. I then had a juice made from beetroot, apple, cucumber, celery, broccoli, avocado and lemon followed by an apple with some almond butter. Nothing quite hit the spot this morning.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 22.04.19
We then walked to our signing class (I did 13,500 steps today according to my Nike Fuel Band) then came home and had two Gluten free sausages, two poached eggs and some spinach for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was playing with Lacie and just chilling before making a Spag Bol for dinner. I didn’t have the pasta, and just had spinach instead, knowing that I wanted to leave room for one of my special crumbles that Olivia gave me yesterday. They are amazing – and are wheat, dairy and sugar free. Bonus!

Tonight I usually go for a walk, do a class or go do some more exercise, but do you know what? I just want a nice soak in some bath salts and to read a magazine. So that’s what I’m going to do. Down time is so important, especially with Lacie’s poor sleeping habits at the moment!

Day 10 of my 21 day fix

Is anyone else suffering with the February blues? I feel really blah at the moment. Not sure if it’s the weather, the time of year or what. Very strange. If I can find a way of snapping out of it I’ll let you know! I’m thinking I need to set some new goals, get a new programme, or mix my food up a bit. Feel very unmotivated, which is very unlike me. I’m not giving up though!

So, Anyway, food wise, everything has gone to plan today.

I managed an hour’s workout before Lacie woke, then had a bowl of Paleo Granola to start the day.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 21.55.26

Me & Lacie then walked to the park before lunch, which was scrambled eggs, chorizo, goats cheese, spinach and a slice of Sukrin bread.

In the afternoon I had three rice cakes with quinoa topped with almond butter and dinner was fish cakes with a rocket salad.

I’ve drunk lots of water and mint tea and went for a run/walk with a client this evening too, in my new Helly Hansen gear, which is absolutely stunning! It fits nicely, it’s warm and the colours are gorgeous. Looking the part makes me feel so much better, especially in front of my clients.

Tomorrow I’m off to London for a few meetings so I’m hoping I will stop off at WholeFoods on my way back and stock up on loads of healthy goodies. I always spend a fortune in there but it’s well worth it. You can’t put a price on your health!

IMG_6253

Day 9 of my 21 day fix

It’s true. I left my abs in Devon, but do you know what? We had the best family weekend so I’m not going to stress. We don’t have another holiday booked until October, plus we’re moving house and got lots on, so a bit of downtime was well needed.

To be honest I didn’t go crazy, and still managed to run or hit the gym every day but I did have pudding both nights, I did have bread when it was served lunch with my family and I did have a scone with some Devon clotted cream. It would be rude not too.

Got to love running in Devon!

Got to love running in Devon!

I do however know that it’s back on track now, so today has been a good one.

I bagged a gym session this morning, then had a protein shake after, followed by a Paleo breakfast of eggs, chorizo, spinach & avocado, a lunch of a multigrain gluten free wrap with goats cheese and avocado and salad, then a handful of macadamia nuts (my fav) and salmon with green veg for dinner. I’ve drunk lots of water too and walked over 12,000 steps.

Any excess weight will be gone in no time!

Day 7 of my 21 Day Fix

Ahhh we are off to Devon tomorrow, which means we had to do a swimming lesson today instead of tomorrow and I had to swap my run with Lacie for a gym session. Not all too bad but I did miss my half hour lay in.

I started my gym sess with a 5k bike ride, and then when straight into my main session which was barbell complexes. Six moves, six times, six times through, followed by a 90 sec cycle and then repeat. I did this six times through and finished with barbell good mornings, cutsey lunges and gym ball planks.

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

We then went swimming and Lacie then had a two hour sleep. Amazing! This gave me time to eat and take my time for once.
I had sweet potato fries, a chicken breast and a rocket salad.

For my afternoon snack I had rye bread with almond butter and a mashed banana.

Dinner was a bassa fillet with an avocado salad followed by a chopped apple.

I’m planning an hour’s run tomorrow morning before we hit the road for our four hour road trip. Hate sitting down all day – I get twitchy :)