How to Beat The Bloat

I’ve been wheat and dairy-free for a while now. It happened when I went on a boot camp. For a whole week, we didn’t touch the stuff, and then I went home, had it and noticed a difference with my weight, bloating and mood (yes, mood!) straight away.

I now try to avoid it at all costs and it seems, that avoiding it, is actually getting easier. For example, when I go out, I can now ask for say a gluten-free pizza if I fancy it, or stick to a protein and salad/vegetable dish, and when it comes to going to the supermarket there is a whole aisle dedicated to people who don’t want to and can’t eat wheat, dairy, gluten, sugar etc. It definitely feels easier these days.

Here are a few of my fav snacks that help me keep my energy levels up, without bloating me out or giving me crazy sugar highs. I’m a big fan of snacking, so I you will always find some of these snacks in my bag – for me and Lacie to enjoy.

1) Ombar Dairy-free Coco Mylk Buttons
It always makes me smile, when I walk into a room and Mark asks me what I’m eating and I reply chocolate buttons. Who would have thought it!? These buttons, however are made using raw organic cacao and sweetened using organic coconut sugar. They are super rich, and creamy and are great for killing my chocolate cravings without a trans-fat in sight!

2) Nairn’s Gluten Free Biscuit Breaks
Just because they say Gluten-free on the packet, don’t think it’s ok to eat the whole packet of these, it’s not! They are ever so moreish. The best thing is, is that they come in a pouch of four, so just have them to hand, and you hopefully won’t go too crazy! Me and Lacie love the chocolate chip variety of these (I don’t have a sweet tooth – honest!!). They are made with whole grain oats and have 40% less sugar than other sweet biscuits, so if I’ve done a tough workout and need a post-workout snack, then these are usually my go-to snack. I like to give them to Lacie too, when she’s peckish between meals or she’s been running around at soft play or something. You won’t find me giving her any rubbish – no way!

3) Clearspring Toasted Nori Snacks
Sometimes I need salt, most people would turn to crisps, but these toasted nori snacks do it for me. They are made from just four ingredients, nori (which is also known as edible seaweed), unrefinded sea salt, sesame seed oil and rapeseed oil. I like to eat them raw, but you can also sprinkle over your salads, so when your other half is having croutons, then you don’t feel quite so left out! 

Other foods I tend to avoid to avoid the bloat are;
• Sugar of all kinds. Sugar comes under many names, so do your research.
• Yeast and anything containing it: bread, beer, wine, Marmite.
• Malted products, such as those found in breakfast cereals.
• Alcohol
and
• Dried fruit & fruit juices.

I have to also mention, that i went to an amazing restaurant in Brighton yesterday called Food For Friends. It’s a vegetarian restaurant, but they also have gluten-free, vegan and dairy-free options throughout the menu. We shared some tahini dips with gluten-free bread to start, and I had a haloumi, avocado and mango salad as my main. The food was super fresh and rich, that I didn’t need a pudding, despite the fact that was gluten-free Molten Chocolate Pudding on offer. I’m starting to regret that now! Brighton is a long was to go back to, just for a pudding!

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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…..

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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!

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* 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.

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* 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!

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 🙂

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!

Post Christmas Detox

Ahhh….it’s been a while. I finished my 21 day detox at the end of November and carried on with the eating well and exercising most days. I even kept it up over Xmas with a few little treats thrown in Xmas Eve and Xmas Day.
Boxing Day was full of treats too, so I had a three-day detox planned for the 27th and beyond – and then BAM! I got a nasty sickness bug that night, which saw me laid up for a day in a half in bed, feeling so, so poorly.

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Not feeling (or looking my best!!)

Thankfully I’m all better now, but any exercise plan has been put on hold for a few days as I’m weak from not eating for a day or so, and I’ve pulled something in my neck when being sick for hours on end (nice!!!).

So instead of telling you what I’ve not been doing, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do!

For the next few days I’m going to ease myself back gently into the gym. Some light cardio and bodyweight stuff with a rest day on New Years Day. Then come Monday, I’ll be starting another 21-day challenge.

To help me do this, I’ve got my brand new Gym Boss Timer…yay! Some brand new Bamboo Fitness Leggings and top (They are so soft, yet eco-friendly, breathable and anti-bacterial), a brand new iPod with my fav tunes, and a brand new programme from BearWolf, a new online personal training service, which allows you to train with a personal trainer from where ever you are.

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I know, I know, I’m a PT myself, but sometimes us PT’s to be accountable to others too. It’s nice to be given a programme that challenges me and makes me work in the gym differently to what we like to do. Scott, at Bearwolf, also makes me check in all my workouts and my daily nutrition macros (like calories, protein, fats and carbs) as well as send him my starting weight, measurements and photos. It really is like having a PT, but means I can workout in my own time around Lacie, and in my own gym, with my own entertainment and own motivation. If I don’t check in, I get a cheeky phone call or text to ask how I’m doing…

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So, as of Monday, I will be doing five workouts a week (one a recovery 30 minute walk/jog) and checking in with Scott after each session using their online tracking and monitoring service. If I’m not sure of any of the exercises, then I can easily refer back to the BearWolf exercise library, and I can communicate with Scott, or any of the other PTs via my dashboard, which has a messaging service – when Scott send me a message I get an email notification. It really is all very high-tech but super easy to use. I love that I have to check in with my progress; it’s great seeing your numbers in black and white and seeing that you beat last week’s weight or reps. It definitely keeps me motivated.

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So that’s my plan. Keep an eye out for an overview of some of my workouts, and my food diaries. I’ll even share some of my secrets with you – I’m only human. I do get cravings too, and although sometimes I give in, there are a few things I do to fight them off! I’m looking forward to getting stuck in….who’s with me?