My Pregnancy Diary; 30 weeks!

How the hell did that happen? I literally have 9-10 weeks left, depending on when I have my C-section – and wow, look at the bump!

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This week, I’ve had a massive hormone surge! Sunday, I felt awful. Light-headed, sick and I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth, which apparently is down to a surge in the hormone Oestrogen. Thankfully it has passed now, but for a few days I really didn’t fancy any food, so I’m so grateful for my frozen Ooosh juices, which I keep in the freezer and can defrost as and when I need them. They are cold-pressed, which prevents the loss of nutrients and separation of the ingredients and have such a high-level of fruit and veg in them, I’m confident that on days I don’t feel like eating much, I’m giving bubba plenty of nutrients, especially greens!

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These are also a must for new, busy mums, so check out Scott’s website and drop him a line to see how he can help you. The beauty is that you can mix and match your favorite flavours in your delivery, and it’s as simple as storing them in the freezer and taking one out to defrost for the next day – or for in my case for later on if I’m having one for dinner!  I’m certainly going to make sure I’m stocked up for those early days when you need food – but have very little time or inclination to cook, especially breakfast!

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Back to training; I’m still going. I’m training 6ish times a week, which includes two power walks/slow runs at the weekend. The TRX is helping me greatly when it comes to exercises such as one-legged squats and press ups, and it means I can work with my body weight, which, because it’s so much heavier than I’m used to means I’m not really using any free-weights. I’m determined to train right until the end.

To help me with my training, I’ve also been lucky enough to give the FitBump Box a try, which is a lovely box especially for pregnant women and new mums.IMG_2296 The box comes nicely wrapped and inside features a resistance band, a Pilates cushion and a mini Pilates ball.

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It also gives you access to a private membership area where you’ll get;
* Week by week pregnancy & new mum Pilates workouts (I’m looking forward to doing these after my C-section, where I’m going to have to really ease myself back into training!).
* Weekly food planning, recipes, tension relieving exercises, back pain workouts, postnatal “mummy tummy” cardio and strengthening workouts
and
* a private forum where they cover everything from back pain, pregnancy worries and topics like postnatal ‘mummy tummy’ troubles! Again, it’s going to be great to talk to other mums, and possibly Joanna, the pregnancy & postnatal fitness expert behind the workouts when I’m ready to ease myself back into training and looking to knit my abs back together before I get back to anything hardcore! A bit or reassurance and training advice without having to leave the house!

I’m really looking forward to doing some of the Pilates workouts, as it’s easy to forget your core when pregnant. My core and abs are usually my favourite area to train, but I don’t want to overdo it in pregnancy and risk getting Diastasis Reci – aka my abs splitting into two! It makes it harder to recover and if I rush into working out too quickly I could end up with a permanent pooch!

If you are worried too, then I would certainly recommend doing your research and maybe investing in a box like the FitBump Box, which is expert lead and tried and tested. These tips should help you too;

  • Always focus on the TA or Transverse Abdominus during pregnancy.
  • Avoid exercises laying on your back during pregnancy.
  • Avoid moves such as crunches, planks, and sit ups as these are the prime culprits to Diastasis Recti.
  • Perform each move slowly and controlled to prevent injury or mishaps.
  • ….and, as always talk to your doctor before attempting ANY ab moves during pregnancy.

Keep an eye out for more on how I’m getting on with the workouts and how they are helping me through these final months!

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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?

 

 

 

 

25 week pregnancy diet 

Yesterday I shared with a days food diary. I’m (trying) to follow the way I used to eat before I went carb crazy during this pregnancy, and am choosing to eat gluten-free foods to help reduce any bloating, which, let me tell you, is really uncomfortable when you already have a bump!

This is what I’ve eaten today;

Breakfast:
1 BFree Multiseed Bagel with ½ an avocado mashed with salt & pepper

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Snack:
CO YO diary-free Yoghurt with mixed Raspberry & Blueberries

Lunch: Quinoa Tuna spinach Salad
Make one potion of quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock for flavour. Add in spinach, 1 can of tuna, tomatoes, mushroom and peppers for a protein packed lunch.

Snack: 10 Almonds

Dinner: Chilli (left over portion for tomorrow’s lunch)
500 g Lean Mince Beef or Turkey Mince
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 Carrot
1 red pepper
1 red onion
Chilli powder
Mixed herbs
Cayenne pepper
Garlic
Courgette/Spinach

Fry of the beef or turkey mince in a frying pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Add in onion, chopped carrot, peppers and any veg of choice. Add in tin of tomatoes and tomato puree along with 2 teaspoons of chilli powder, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon of mixed herbs.

Serve on a bed of Courgetti or spinach or in my case, both!

 

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.

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!

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 2 of my 21 day detox challenge

I’ve woken up not hungry and ready to try a light gym session. It won’t be my usual but it will probably feel like it if my resting heart rate is anything to go by this morning. I’m clearly still fighting something off but sometimes doing something actually makes you feel better!

I started with some side plank rotations & side lunge with a reach before moving onto lunge with Kettlebell press, super-setted with maximum press ups. I managed 13 in each set.
My workout lasted for about an hour all in all, and progressed to thrusters, burpees, 5k bike and abs, which I was pleased with. I didn’t push it though!

I then had my first juice of the day…before walking to the park with Lacie.
My hubby then decided he wanted to lunch, so whilst him and Lacie ate, I drank my juice. I won’t lie. I was tempted to give in and have lunch with them but after a few sips of my juice I didn’t feel too hard done by.
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I then had my Brazil nut milk at 4ish, which I find incredibly sweet. I’m not sure if I like it or not, but it’s filling so that’s enough for me, followed by juice for dinner at 7pm and a hot water with a slice of lemon. All in all, I’ve had 4 juices and lots of water.

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I do feel hungry today and I do feel a little agitated BUT my word, I’ve been productive. I’ve written a feature, sorted all the clothes in my drawers, sorted Lacie’s 1st birthday photos and also wrote & sent all her thank you cards.

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I also had a long soak in the bath with Epsom salts, not only because it’s advised on the Purifyne juice programme but also because my hubby ordered in a pizza and some sweets and I just had to get away. How cruel can you be?
I don’t actually eat pizza – but the whole house smells AMAZING.

I wonder if he saved me any?