My Pregnancy Diet; 28 weeks pregnant

Help, I feel sick! First trimester type sickness but mainly at night and in the morning. What is that? I don’t remember having it with Lacie!? Tiredness perhaps? Low blood sugar? Hormones? I just don’t know but it’s really annoying. I just sat in the bathroom on Saturday morning not sure what to do with myself. It did pass but I literally had to force myself to just get out the house and get some fresh air. I hope it passes soon!

So what else has been going on? Well I’m 28 weeks now and feel very bumpy. Another half an inch around the waist this week (standard!) but no-where else which is good, although I do feel like I’m carrying water.

Here’s a pic of me this morning in the gym. Another workout in the bag. Yay! As you can see I’m rocking a bump – I feel heavy!

 

So what have I been doing in the gym?

  • Core Well there have been no more ab exercises! I was never really big into doing isolated ab work anyway, as the big moves I tend to do like squats, deadlifts, clean and press etc tend to work my core anyway BUT since about 12 weeks I have stopped any twisting movements and any crunch type moves, and instead doing things like bird dog and side planks.
  • HIIT Although I was mega careful in the first 12 weeks and kept my heart rate right down and the intensity low, I’m now back to my beloved HIIT routines and usually following the 50 seconds hard, 10 seconds rest protocol. Since my body is used to this type of training, I was more than happy to introduce this again. Please take note though you need to know your body before doing this sort of training and it’s advised that you check with your GP and midwife before undertaking any sort of training. My midwife knows how I like to train and is happy for me to continue as long as I listen to my body.
  • Running I’m still going – JUST ABOUT! I can manage about 15 minutes before I get stitch like pains and then I just walk until any pain has subsided. I then do 60 second run and 2 minute walk intervals for around 30 minutes or until I reach home. I’m usually out for round 60 minutes and do this on a Saturday and Sunday morning.

Todays workout.
Today I did an hour in the gym first thing and started with my usual 5 minutes on the bike before some sun salutations and side to side tube walking.

I then did a HIIT circuit; 50 seconds work/10 seconds rest
* Deadlifts x 4, star jumps x 4
* press ups x 2, burpees x 2
* Lunge kick through into lunge glute lift, and jump and change
* Side lunge, side lunge, jump forward, jump back (stay low the whole time).

I did this for three rounds and then did finished with some bird dogs, side planks, raised planks and a slow spin on the bike.
I kept my weights low in the deadlifts and did my press ups on my knees to help prevent splitting my abs (Diastasis recti).

How have your workouts change throughout your pregnancy?

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

25 weeks pregnant; my exercise & diet diary

This pregnancy is flying. Perhaps it me because I feel so good on it – you’ve got to love the second trimester!

Here’s some pics of me at 25 weeks. My body is changing rapidly and my tummy is definitely feeling heavier & rounder. That’s the plan I guess!

Running hasn’t felt as comfortable this week, so I will try one more time on Saturday and if I’m getting the stitch type pain that I did last weekend, I will swap my running for power-walking. I’m so pleased that I’ve managed to last this long to be honest! I’ve definitely had another growth spurt too; All I’ve wanted to eat are carbs, carbs, carbs! Hard for someone who’s never really been a bit carb eater!

This week I’ve decided to go with it BUT obviously tried to stick to whole grains & gluten free options like B Free Foods, who do the most delicious gluten-free, dairy-free wraps, rolls & bagels.

If you are in the same situation as me and craving carbs but hate the bloat that comes with them, I’ll be posting some food diaries so you can see what sort of foods I eat throughout the day.

Breakfast:
2 Eggs Scrambled with 85g of  Salmon + a handful of spinach (throw
this into the eggs while scrambling with some salt & pepper)
Snack:
A chopped apple with 1-2 tsp of almond butter
Lunch:
Turkey and Relish Sandwich
2 slices BFree Brown seeded long slice bread
1 small cooked turkey breast chopped
1 tbsp tomato relish
Handful rocket + ½ a tomato
Spread the relish on one slice of bread. Layer the turkey and cheese on the
other, add the rocket and serve.
Add a side salad to increase intake of veggies
Snack:
CO YO yogurt with 15 mixed Raspberries & Blueberries
Dinner:
Chicken and Chorizo Stew
1 Chicken Breast
1 serving of chorizo (thumb size)-make sure this is GF
½ tin of chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon of tomato puree
¼ tin of Chickpeas
1 cloves of garlic
Seasoning (Mixed Herbs, Paprika, cumin, Chilli powder)
Fry of chicken and chorizo with a spoon of coconut oil and 1 cloves of garlic.
Add in your veg of choice. Add in tin of tomatoes and tomato puree and
drained can of chickpeas. Season with a 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder, mixed
herbs, paprika and cumin.

Pregnancy; 20 weeks bump and training update

I was right; it’s a boy. It’s so weird, I just knew from the beginning and I am carrying so differently that how I did with Lacie. Did I tell you I’ve been having really vivid dreams about a little baby boy too? Strange!!

So here is my 20 weeks bump! My belly has definitely popped now (moreso at night) and to be honest, it’s thrown me – literally! I fell over twice last week, one that resulted in me going to A&E! I guess my balance is just slightly off now I have a bump and I have to slow down a little and be a bit more careful.

So what else is new? Not much really (apart from the bump of course!). I don’t have any stretch marks – I’m using this super-duper cream called Remescar Silicone Stretch Marks Scar Cream, a silicone based cream, which prevents and treats stretch marks by releasing a long lasting protective film that will cover the affected skin and I’m craving sweet stuff like nothing else. Obviously I’m trying not to cave in, and working hard at keeping my blood sugar levels in check by eating every two to three hours and having a good protein rich breakfast like a shake (recipe below) or a big plate of eggs, spinach and avocado.

My wedding ring is also still on, my belly button hasn’t popped quite yet and I’m not feeling too tired or queasy, so all is good!

Training this week has been good too – I’m walking lots and getting a good 45 minutes in in the morning. I loved my circuit this morning, which was;

45 seconds work/15 seconds rest x 4 circuits
* TRX one legged squat on right leg (alternate legs with each round)
* TRX Back pulls (these are great for posture as your boobs get bigger and heavier)
* TRX Press ups
* Side plank with arm reach on right side (alternate sides with each round)

I then finished with a 5k time trial on the bike. Great workout!

My go-to protein-rich breakfast smoothie
Try this tasty protein-rich shake to stop those pesky sugar cravings that like to sneak up on you when you are pregnant. This is a real treat at breakfast time and is really filling!

I got this recipe from the amazing Mirella Ingamells’ pregnancy e-book, which has been a huge help for me when it comes to nutrition and workout ideas….her little one is seven months now and Mirella, like me worked out throughout her whole pregnancy.

Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie
Ingredients:
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1tbsp peanut butter
1 frozen banana
300ml rice milk
1tsp lucama powder
Handful of ice
Chia & sesame seeds (for sprinkling on top)

Literally all you do is throw it all in the blender and drink up!

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 15.55.51

 

Getting ready for baby number two 

Just a quick progress photo for week 18. I’ve definitely had a few heavy days this week and training hasn’t been so energetic but nows the time to listen to my body. I must admit, I’ve felt a bit flat training wise this week, so not much to report on it really. I’m still following Gideon’s plan from KX Life but listening to my body more this week; If I need longer rest periods or to lower the weight, so be it. I’m in the gym and to me that’s all that matters and I’m happy to still be training & enjoying it.

In between training, eating, sleeping, working & being mummy, I’ve also been trying to work out in my head how to get organised for bubba number two. I’m definitely not sending Lacie to nursery any earlier than I need too, I simply just love being with her, and this is time I’m never going to get back!

That being said, I will have both of them at home with me for eight or nine months, and I’m fully aware that there’s going to be hard days, especially when I’m tired, bubba is having a clingy day (I remember them well) and Lacie wants to play and have fun.

So what’s my plan?

1st things first is; Breast feeding
I will definitely breast feed bubba all the time mark, my husband, is on Paternity leave. After that, I plan to go to bottles. I just can’t see how I’m going to be able to be at home on my own with both of them and be feeding a baby. LaCie would feed for up to 45 minutes at a time and I’m not sure how this is going to work with Lacie needing my attention as well.

So I’ve got myself organised & got a Tommee Tippee steriliser (in black to match the kitchen) and some of their Closer to Nature Advanced Comfort Bottles. Giving a bottle to a newborn is alien to me (I fed Lacie for 9 months) so I wanted to find some that made it easy to latch on to, were BPA Free and stopped air bubbles during feeding, which may lead to colic and digestion issues. I’m sure they will be absolutely fine with the bottle, millions of babies do it, but I want feeding to be as stress-free as possible so I still have the nice time that I had with Lacie. I also like these bottles because of the soft, natural-feel silicone teat. This should make it easier to switch between the breast and bottle.

Workouts
I’m lucky that Lacie sleeps in until 8ish, which allows me to go down to my home gym & get an hours workout in before she wakes. I hope bubba will do the same, so I’ve got a Tommee Tippee Digital Video monitor, which will allow me to keep a close eye on the baby whilst I workout. The monitor still has great reception in my gym, thanks to the 300m range & it has a two-way talk button option that allows me to talk to the bubba if he/she needs comforting or just needs to hear my voice as I make my way up to their room. I know this all sounds very far fetched as I just don’t know what type of baby and sleeper it’s going to be, but having a plan in my head about how I’m going to get back in shape makes me feel in control just a little. Lacie used to come into the gym with me when she was a baby so if that’s what happens with this one then that’s fine, but I will hopefully get it in to the same routine as I’ve got Lacie into. It took lots of patience, but we got there.

The monitor also comes with a temperature room display, remote nightlight and a detachable sensor pad that fits under your baby’s mattress and sounds an alarm if no movement is detected after 20 seconds.

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 20.41.59

Prams? 
So my My next thing to thing about is a pram/buggy board/double buggy, so if anyone has any suggestions of how to get out and about with two, please send your suggestions. Lacie will be two-and-a-half once bubba is here and although she likes walking – she can’t quite manage the walk into town, an hours class, or whatever activity we are doing that day, and then a walk back! Help!!!

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 20.54.44

A little workout for you to try
To finish off, here’s a quick 12-minute circuit that I tagged onto the end of my workout today. Was great fun and got my heart-rate up nicely….
* 45 seconds kettlebell swings
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds Squat to front kick
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – right side
* 15 seconds rest
* 45 seconds side plank – left side
* 15 seconds rest
Repeat three times through as a continuous circuit.

As always don’t forget to check with your mid-wife and GP when exercising when pregnant – and listen to your body!!!!

Toddler Swimming Lessons at Virgin Active- Lacie’s progress

As you have probably read on past blogs, Lacie has been swimming since she was 11 weeks old. We defiantly have our good lessons and bad lessons. She can now tell me what she wants to do in the pool and doesn’t – especially when it’s time to go under the water. “No, mummy, no mummy.” When she was a baby, she just did exactly as she was told!

I really can’t fault the lessons at Virgin Active though. We have had the same teacher from day one, which is great for both of us, and she has made some great friends. Virgin Active in Bromley also have great facilities and it’s lovely having lunch in the cafe afterwards – before she has a mammoth sleep. Swimming really is great for wearing her out!

Here’s a few things I do to keep Lacie interested and enthusiastic about going in the pool. She certainly has her off days when it comes to the lessons, but I really don’t want to be a pushy mum, so I try to make things as fun as possible for her!

  • First, things first, every term I ALWAYS get her a new swimming costume. These days she even chooses it herself and recently chose this Zoggs Tutu ‘swimdress’ (Girls Sea Garden Tuille Swimdress; £15.00). She loves bright colours and everytime we put it on, she says “Ballet” and sings “Let it go”. She obviously feels glamourous in it! The reason I like the costume is that it’s also quick drying and has a criss cross back, which stops the straps falling down, a problem we’ve had in the past!
    Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.06.57
  • We always meet her friend Henry in the changing room a little bit early. They can then get ready together, have a baby-talk natter and go in the pool a little bit before the lesson starts.
    IMG_0323
  • Pool toys; Watering cans, floats, fish & hoops, you name it, she loves sitting on the side and playing before the lesson starts. I get her wet with the watering can before encouraging her to jump in the pool. Humpty Dumpty is a great way of getting her in. Recently I also got her these Peppa Pig ‘Peppa and George squirts‘, which we take in the pool with us. I do things like throw Pepper slightly in front of us and make her paddle her arms to get her, or pop both Peppa and George on a float and encourage her to hold on to the float and kick her legs. It seems to be doing the trick!IMG_0310
  • We make sure we swim as a family at the weekends. Lacie loves swimming with Daddy around, and infact, the one time he came to watch her swim, she had the most fantastic swimming lesson and did everything that Sandy our instructor said. Mark was so impressed with her progress, which is reassuring – it’s hard for me to see sometimes, as I take her every week.
    IMG_0306
  • After swimming snacks. Lacie always has a cheeky little snack after she’s got changed. Right now her favourite bars are Perkier Cashew, Chia & Pumpkin Seed Quinoa bars. They are free from refined sugar and packed fibre (to keep her fuller for longer), protein (for strong healthy muscles and tissue), omega 3 (for concentration and brain health), and antioxidants, to keep her healthy and well. She loves them, and I love how much goodness they have in them!
    Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 12.06.09

For more information on baby and toddler swimming lessons, check out Virgin Active’s Swim Starz programme here; https://www.virginactive.co.uk/our-difference/the-club-experience/swimming/swim-starz

 

How to stay clean and lean on holiday – or whilst moving house in my case

Last weekend, we moved house. My perfect little bubble is now a building site, and I am living with the in-laws for five weeks.

From this.....

From this…..

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 22.13.40

To this!!!

This is fine. But I don’t have a gym. That’s like me not having oxygen – and I won’t lie, it’s totally taken me out of my comfort zone! So this is what I have been doing to keep myself on track. You can apply this to when/if you go on holidays or if like me you are moving house and your routine is all over the shop. There truly is no reason why you can’t get your workout in or eat healthy, EVEN if you are away from home. This is what I’ve been doing….

* Find a local gym
I found a local sports center – it’s an school in the day and gym at night. Yes, we did a class in a school hall, but never the less, it was an INSANITY class and actually pretty tough. It will keep me busy on Monday nights for the next few weeks, so that’s one workout taken care off. The gym there is awful, so for now I will stick to the class.

* Follow a workout DVD 
Push the sofa over, pop in the DVD and VUALA!! My current favourite is the Jillian Michaels 30-day Shred. Tough but quick!

* Try an online workout…
like BarreCore. I love their barre classes but it’s impossible to get to a class in London and schedule it around Lacie too, so I love their virtual classes, which allow you to experience the barre burn in the comfort of your own home! I also love the Dan Roberts Methodology X plan, a 21-day plan, a fun and friendly holistic workout, which has been designed to help you look and feel supermodel fit. It starts pretty easy, but Boy, get to day 14 and you’ll notice the change in pace!

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 15.19.51

* Have a resistance band or kettlebell to hand.
All you need is a bit of space and you can do a full body workout outdoors or in your living room. My personal trainer, Gideon Remfry from KX Gym has given me a challenge of doing 5 minutes of kettlebell swings, followed by 5 minutes of Clean and Jerk, followed by 5 minutes of kettlebell snatches. My body was screaming for Merci afterwards – and it took literally 30 minutes with a warm up and cool down.

* Body weight!!!
NEVER underestimate the power of your body!! Think pushups, squats, lunges, dips, the list goes on and on. Try 30 seconds of squats, 30 seconds of burpees, 30 seconds rest. Repeat this cycle for 10 minutes. Ouch!

* Know your surroundings
find a path and go for a run – or in my case, take Lacie for a run. I pop her in her Out ‘n’ About Nipper Sport V4 and off we go. I found a nice big hill, which I walk up for my warm up and then have been doing a few laps of the local park.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 15.07.46

* Stick to Protein
If time is tight and I don’t have time to have breakfast or in my case, don’t have a kitchen then I will grab a Protein shake or Protein Bar. My fav this month has to be Maxitone Sculptress Bars. They come in a caramel crunch flavour and contain 16 grams of protein in each bar, which not only supports my muscles after a morning workout but also keeps me feeling fuel to at least midday! My rule of thumb is to have protein with every meal. Think boiled eggs, a handful of almonds, some chicken pieces, A protein shake, some coconut yogurt (CO YO) or slices of goats cheese.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 15.02.29* Remember that abs are made in the kitchen!
If there are days when you can’t workout – don’t worry, I’ve had a few! Try to keep your diet in check and eat little and often. You should also try and move as much as possible (walk to the shops, rather then drive, or chase your little one around the park). Locate your nearest supermarket too and stock up on water, fruits, veg, nuts, hummus etc, so there are always healthy options to hand.

Despite being worried about coming out of my comfort zone, It really is possible to make healthy choices, smart choices and get your exercise when you aren’t in your usual environment or their isn’t a gym around. Just do a little homework and be prepared, it will only lead to a better and healthier you. Good luck!

How to work out with your baby

I’ve heard it so many times, “I can’t work out,” “There’s no time with a baby,” “I don’t want to leave them in the creche at the gym.” But believe me you really don’t need a gym and you don’t need to miss out on quality time with your bubba either. I USED to go the the gym 6 days a week, more if I could. Now I’m lucky if I manage once a week in the evening whilst Lacie sleeps. I just don’t have the energy once i’ve put her down at 7:30pm. There’s bottles to be washed, dinner to be eaten and a bath every now and then is nice too!

But what about working out involving your little one in the day? There’s no harm in them seeing you working out. It can only create healthier habits for them in the future. When Lacie was first born, I would always pop her in her swinging chair, whIlst I did a quick 25 minute HIIT workout, or pop her on her play mat (when she was happy to sit still :)) and chat with her in between sets so she didn’t feel left out. I often chat with her whilst I’m doing my workout, telling her what exercises I’m doing and then counting my reps out loud. I will sing to her too and encourage her to bop about. So much fun.

Now Lacie is a little explorer, I tend to pop her either in her high chair and let her munch on her breakfast as she watches me jump around (she finds it super funny), pop her in her Fisher Price Sit-me-up Floor Seat during Milkshake on Channel 5, which she LOVES, pop her in the garden with a ball and her toys whilst I work out on the grass, or ideally I try and do it in the morning before she wakes. This requires me to get up at 7am – which to be honest isn’t the end of the world. I’ve also filled her travel cot up with ball pond balls in the past and let her play in there for half hour. She loves it (you can see it in the background of this pic!)

Someone kept me company in the gym today!

Watching Milkshake whilst Mummy Squats

By showing Lacie how to be active in any way I can, I’m hoping that she will develop a habit of being active from an early age, plus if I include her in a work out, we get to spend time together and learning things like how to count and how to jump. She already knows what to do with a dumbbell and likes to try and do press ups on my Reebok Step. I hope that it will also teach her that workouts don’t have to be a mysterious thing that no one should see you do. (Let’s be honest: we’ve all felt embarrassed about going to the gym and working out in front of people!)

Here’s a quick workout that you can do with your little one by your side. You don’t need any fancy equipment that can hurt them – or you don’t need loads of space either. If you don’t want to do it with your baby awake, then pop them in the pram come nap time, walk round the block to get yourself warmed up and then do it in a local park or in your living room whilst they sleep. You won’t of missed any quality time with them and it will inspire you to get it done super quick whilst they sleep.

Now I’m a mummy is definitely quality over quantity!

Here goes…..

* 30 seconds jog on spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds of press Ups
* 30 secs jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up.
* 30 seconds plank
* 30 seconds jog on the spot -10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30seconds of squat jumps
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of burpees
* 30 seconds Jog on the spot – 10 high knees, 10 low knees. Keep repeating this sequence until your time is up
* 30 seconds of triceps dips

Repeat three times through – once if you are short on time. Something is always better than nothing!

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where's the nearest park?

A quick walk around the block come nap time always does the trick. Now where’s the nearest park?

* Always warm up before you do this workout and check with your doctor before embarking on any fitness challenge.

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.

How to train for a 5K

As you all know, I am a Journalist and have had a massive project recently with WebMD.
Here is my first feature of the year with them, which takes you through how to train for a 5k.
I’ve always gone for longer distances in the past, but since having Lacie, I always do a 5k on a Thursday with my running buggy. It’s the perfect distance for getting some running in, without it taking over the morning – and her getting too bored too!
Here it is. The original can be found here at WebMD, a website jam-packed with trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information

Sofa to 5K
By Lucy Miller
WebMD Feature
Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks

Caroline Cross, a running buff, is the first to admit that she didn’t enjoy running The Berlin Marathon as much as she thought she would. Towards the end of her training she was counting down the long runs and early mornings, and literally hobbled over the finishing line – “the last 10k, was the worst,” she says. The achievement of running a marathon is amazing but it’s certainly not for everyone. You not only have to be fit, but you have to be super committed to your training – no more Sunday morning lie-ins!
In preparation for her first marathon, Caroline had run plenty of half marathons and 10k races. She also did a short and sharp run most Saturday mornings, particularly the Parkrun, a free organised 5k run, where she could monitor her time each week and race against other runners. “5k’s are great for speed training and building stamina,” she says. “I have always found that by adding in 5k’s to my training it has helped my performance with longer distances.”

A 5k community
Founded by Paul Sinton-Hewitt in 2004, the idea of Parkrun originated from the initial Bushy Parkrun event, in Teddington, Middlesex.
It started when Paul had a knee injury. He was bored and wanted to stay involved with the running community, so on October 2, 2004, he got 13 of his friends to turn up at Bushy Park and timed them over a 5km course. They went again the next week and then the next, and slowly the word spread and the number of runners turning up grew. It became a regular event, then, during 2007, six more events started up and Parkrun was born.

Parkrun is now one of the most popular runs you can do, and as of March 2014 there have been over 500, 000 participants, with around 375 locations to choose from. Who would have thought so many people would be up and about at 9am (9.30 in Scotland) on a Saturday morning, looking forward to a community-based 5 kilometre run?

“It’s a great start to a Saturday morning and there’s a great atmosphere with a real sense of community with runners from the local area,” says Caroline. “I like the fact that it is also open to everyone and you can run as a family. It is even better when you break a personal best (PB).

Why 5k?
According to Runner’s World, 5k – 3.1 mile’s is the perfect distance for beginners. It’s short and snappy, and “you can fit it quite easily into your day as it doesn’t take up much time,” says Caroline. “It’s also an extremely accessible distance for everyone and for all abilities. Even if you are new to running you can have a go and run it at a pace you are comfortable with.”
Here, the expert’s talk about how you can join Caroline in going from the couch to a 5k course, paying attention not only to your physical training but also your mental attitude. (It’s always recommended, especially for adults over 50, that sedentary people check in with their doctor before starting to train.)

Getting started
When sticking to a training plan, the best thing to do is find a time to train that suits you. Lots of people find that running first thing fits in best, “the whole day is then at your disposal without the need to go for a run hanging over you,” says Nick Anderson, running coach at The Run Lunge. “Most races are usually early on a Sunday morning, so you will start to train your body to respond to an early run in the right way. Remember, the early bird catches the worm!”
“Build up slowly too,” suggests Alex Rahim, Personal Trainer at Virgin Active, “and try not to increase your speed or distance too early. It won’t take you long to prepare for a 5k, so don’t panic.”

Dress for the occasion
If it’s dark and cold outside, then it will make it harder to get out the door. According to Caroline, “The most important thing is to dress sensibly by wearing layers – a bit like an onion.”
Chose a lightweight top for your base layer, then wear a light waterproof jacket or fleece over the top. To keep your legs warm, wear a pair of running leggings underneath a pair of shorts or go for some thick fleecy leggings that can be bought from most good running shops.
You tend to lose around 20% of heat through your head so make sure you wear a hat and a pair of gloves too. There’s nothing worse than fingers that are so cold they hurt – and if you get too warm you can always take them off.

Make training convenient for you
“Look to use your time efficiently, build running into your commute, consider the value of even a short, 20 minute run at lunchtime and skip work drinks and encourage colleagues to join you as well,” says Tom Craggs, UKA Running Coach and coaching advisor to Saucony UK, High5, Adidas UK and SenseCore. “Use your personal time efficiently. We all ‘waste’ time each day. Sleep or a good stretching session is of more value to both your training and your overall health than 30 minutes of ‘smart phone’ time in bed late at night.”

Staying motivated
The only way to stick to your plan is to “Examine all the potential barriers that could get in the way and work out in advance how you’re going to deal with them,” says Robin Gargrave of Central YMCA, the activity for health charity. “Look to train with other people – get yourself down to your local running club or Run England group or get a friend or family member to sign up with you,” says Tom. “Many studies suggest that our partners can have a big influence on our behaviour and our health, with a more recent study by University College, London, suggesting that men and women are three times or more likely to achieve their resolution when their partner joined in the challenge.

Set goals
“Always set SMART goals,” explains Alex. “These are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and have a Time frame.”
Write down the reasons you want to do the 5k. This could be as simple as improving your health, losing weight or looking better in your clothes.
“Without goals, training has a lack of direction and purpose meaning the performance outcome will not be fulfilled to its potential,” says Alex.

Break it down into manageable chunks
First, pick the date for your 5k. “Six to eight weeks should be fine, however bear in mind this is not as long as it seems.
“Once you have your date, then begin finding a comfortable pace and run for time as opposed for distance to get the body used to running for a length of time,” says Alex. “Do this for approximately 2 weeks then build in some interval sessions (where you run faster than your average pace for a period like 30 seconds, and doing a walk recovery for 90 seconds) twice a week for 2 weeks. Running hills are important in any running programme too and this can be included in the last 2 weeks of your 6 to 8 week plan.”
Don’t forget your rest days too. Your body needs time to recover in order to get faster. “Look to take a minimum of one complete rest day a week, more for less experienced runners,” says Tom. “Respect that your body progresses and develops through your rest and it’s an area most runners forget.”
If you’re inspired to lace up your trainers and start training for a 5k, then Alex suggests that you: “always try and do one to two strength sessions per week, plus three running sessions per week. Strength training will help prepare the body for impact, and the running sessions do not have to be any longer than 30 minutes at a time so will not affect time out of your day too much.”

Good Luck!

Day 6 of my 21 day fitness challenge

Ok, so the juicing has finished. I finished all my Purifyne Juices and decided to leave it there and not make my own for the next day or so. I do like the thought of juicing but actually I’m not sure it’s for me unless I’m in a bootcamp or retreat sort of environment. I felt hungry and tired the whole time and for the last few days just wanted to eat everything in sight. That’s just not me. I’m usually very disciplined and enjoy healthy meals and snacks. I felt a bit out of control!

Today I’ve stated the day with an hour’s workout, some lemon in hot water and a protein bar.
I then had chicken with 1/2 avocado, spinach & some pesto for lunch, an apple with a few handfuls of Paleo Granola and then a turkey breast with spiralized courgettes and carrots for dinner. For my snack I had some Sukrin bread with almond butter and 1/2 a mashed banana.
I’m not going to lie, I’ve wanted to eat everything in sight again today but had to be really strict with myself and fuel my body with the right foods and nutrients.

I really do prefer this way of eating. It’s all clean, it’s all tasty and most importantly I’m not going to bed hungry and obsessing about food!
The very way it should be!